It’s All about Location

On our recent overseas trip Craig and I stayed in 7 different places – that’s 7 different places in less than 14 days. As you can imagine, I need to have techniques to learn my way round a new place as soon as I can.

Every apartment has fixtures: furniture, doorways, windows, even pictures on a wall. I use the fixtures to orientate myself and find my way round the place I’m in.

As an example, here’s how I navigated my way round one of the apartments in Warsaw. The apartment had a large combined bedroom/dining room/kitchen, with a passage down to a second bedroom and the bathroom. The front door into the apartment was on the long side of the passage, with the bathroom on the right and the doorway into the bedroom/dining room/kitchen on the left.

There was a thick mat that stretched most of the length of the passage. I used it to indicate where the doorways into each room were – when I felt the edge of the mat I knew to slow down so I wouldn’t stub my toes on the doorframes.

The main room had a window opening onto a busy street. It seemed like the traffic never stopped. While that was a little annoying in the early hours of the morning, I could use the sound to judge which way I should be facing so I wouldn’t fall over the bed, the table or the chairs. Using those fixtures it took me only a few hours to find my way round the apartment as if I had lived there for years.

Of course, it’s not always that easy. Some apartments, especially those with big open spaces, are more confusing to get around without help. But I usually manage to find some way of navigating a new space without needing sight.


  1. It is amazing how much information is out there. When I first went blind I realized that I would have to tap into that, “white noise quote.
    And as I sit here thinking about it today, there’s a new level of white noise and I Collett white white noise. It’s a new layer of information that I deem not worthy of pain too much attention to.

    1. Sounds like you’re saying there’s a difference between usable white noise and irrelevant white noise, Jeff. I’d agree, although I’m very aware that sometimes the irrelevant white noise can mask the usable – and that’s where we often encounter problems!

      1. I guess I would not say it is totally irrelevant. But to imagine a deer in the woods never being able to drink from a pond due to all the white noise. At some point, there must be a level that gives a sense of security. Hence, we tap arcane down the sidewalk at ease due to our perception of the natural noises around us. It would be very advantageous to be able to quickly zoom in on that next layer of white noise whenever a red flag pops up or I should say, when a red flag is heard.

        1. I’m just trying to imagine what a white noise red flag would sound like… LOL

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